Harvard University police heightened on-campus security, and FBI were called in to investigate; officials later announced that they did not consider the email a “credible threat” and believe that it originated overseas.
New details are now emerging that are rendering this case as bizarre as it is chilling.
Harvard University is reporting that hundreds of Harvard students — most of them female students with Asian or Asian American surnames — received a series of mass emails yesterday, threatening that they would be shot on-campus today.
Although the two emails, sent minutes apart, were addressed to “All students of Harvard”, they were not sent to the entire Harvard community. Instead, the emails appeared to have selectively targeted Asian and Asian American women, based on their surnames. The emails also offered some clue that the recipients were chosen based on their presumed race or ethnicity; the Harvard Crimson reports that the emails referred to the recipients’ “slit -eyes”.
By all accounts, Andrew Sun ’16 was a “bright student”, a “humble listener” and a “mentor”. He was well-known on the Harvard campus for his involvement in the Harvard College Faith in Action group, a non-denominational Christian group. So, news of Sun’s death on Sunday evening from injuries sustained from a 7-story fall came as a shock and surprise; more so when the death was ruled a suicide. From the Harvard Crimson:
Sun, an Economics concentrator from New Jersey, died early Monday morning in Massachussets General Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries he sustained after jumping off a Boston building on Sunday. Sun, who was 20 years old at the time of his death, was a resident of Pforzheimer House.
In an email to Pforzheimer House residents, co-House Masters John R. Durant and Anne Harrington ’82 invited students to a community gathering in Pforzheimer on Thursday at 8 p.m. According to the email, there will be readings, music, a candle-lighting ceremony, and collective and private opportunities to share memories of Sun.
Well-known on campus for his active involvement in Harvard College Faith in Action, a non-denominational Christian group, Sun spent much of his time at the College praying with classmates and reading scripture, according to friends.
“He was always really eager to reach other people and pray for and with other people,” Shaun Y.S. Lim ’15, the president of HCFA, said.
According to Lim, Sun and a few of his friends started a morning prayer initiative last fall and invited community members to pray and read scripture with them at 8:45 a.m. every weekday.
John T. Hoffer ’16, a member of the service organization Phillips Brooks House Association, wrote in an email that Sun was also dedicated to mentoring with PBHA and had spent this past J-term tutoring children with the South Boston School program.